Welcome to PHYS 371 at CCNY

This is the course page for City College Course PHYS 371, Advanced Physics Lab I, in the Fall 2021 semester

The course syllabus is here: Syllabus

The goal of this course is to learn how experimental physics works. You will have done some labs in your intro courses, but for the most part, those were well defined and structured, meaning you didn't have to design the experiments or build the apparatus. This course will challenge you to do both of those things. Don't worry, we won't expect you to build a particle accelerator or solve the worlds energy crisis by inventing a method for cold fusion, but we'll work with the same techniques and tools that would enable those larger more ambitions projects to be done.

Our tools will largely consist of consumer grade microcontrollers and associated devices. These allow us to easily connect a computer to sensors in order to measure various phenomena, or control devices that can interact with the physical world.

We'll be using Arduino style microscontrollers to interface between computers and the physical world. You will need to learn how to write the code to make your arduino do the things you want it to, as well as learn how to build some simple ciruits and/or instrumentation to accomplish basic measurements and physical interactions.

A basic Aruduino kit will be provided to you for this course, but you will need a computer that can interface with it (most normal computers will suffice)

Some basics

You reveived your Arduino Kits. Now you need to get them up and running.

Start here: Arduino Getting Started You'll want to install the IDE which lets you easily connect to the board and upload code to it. Everything usually just works, though on some machines there mighe be issues (drivers, etc). Get those sorted out now!


Here are some pages where I'll post various quick tips and tutorials to help out with the technical side of this class.

Course Schedule and Materials

The schedule is subject to change, but this represents the most likely dates for those items.

Date Topic In class Assignment Extras
Aug 30 Intro Pick up your kit Intro Tutorials
Sep 6
Sep 13 Measurement Slides Pressure-height (due 9/20) Lecture Recording →
Sep 20 Devices Slides Thermometry (due 10/4)
Sep 27 ZOOM day (chk. your email)
Oct 4 Signals In & Out Heater and Temperature (due 10/25) Lecture Recording →
Oct 11
Oct 18 Communicating Slides
Oct 25 Projects Slides
Nov 1 Project Ideas Due
Nov 8 Rotary Encoder
Nov 15 Signal vs. Noise Slides Signal and Noise (due 11/29)
Nov 22 Open Drop in 2-5 pm
Nov 29 Wrap Up Slides Lab 4 due
Dec 6 Presentations Final Projects Due
Dec 13 Presentations

Other information

Physics page for Current Students


To comply with FERPA guidelines, please use your ccny email to correspond with me. Include your name and section number, and EMPLID if you need administrative actions done.